UNAIDS welcomes 'significant' step by Pope on condoms
The UN agency leading the international campaign against HIV/AIDS on Sunday welcomed Pope Benedict's statement on the acceptability of condom use in certain cases as a "significant step forward".
"This is a significant and positive step forward taken by the Vatican today," said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe in a statement.
"This move recognizes that responsible sexual behaviour and the use of condoms have important roles in HIV prevention," he added.
Sidibe said he had held far reaching discussions with Vatican on HIV prevention issues in 2009.
"Together we can build a world with zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths," he added.
In a book due out Tuesday, Pope Benedict XVI says that condom use is acceptable "in certain cases" as a form of protection notably to reduce the risk of infection, apparently softening his hardline stance.
© 2010 AFP